How to Hire a Cosmetologist

Does your growing business need a cosmetologist? Cosmetologists provide grooming and beauty services for individuals within their home or a salon environment.

Here are some tips to help you find great cosmetologist candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Cosmetologists searching for jobs on Indeed*

25,988

Job seekers that clicked cosmetologist jobs

45,629

Resumes for job seekers with cosmetologist experience on Indeed

2,006

Cosmetologist jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring cosmetologist?

  • Common salary in US: $17.36 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$47.45 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, cosmetologist jobs in the US are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 13 job seekers per cosmetologist job.

Why hire a cosmetologist?

Having new staff in your salon can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great cosmetologist hire can help your business:

• Provide styling services to clients, including haircuts, styles and colors
• Offer nail, eyebrow and skin treatments
• Collaborate with staff to ensure clients are served and the salon is clean

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance cosmetologist

Your salon can choose between hiring a full-time cosmetologist and an independent cosmetologist. When you hire cosmetologists as employees, you have full control over the work schedule, types of services, products and all other details about how the salon works. You typically pay full-time cosmetologists an hourly wage, and they can also earn tips.

Another popular model for salons is providing booths or individual rooms where cosmetologists can rent the space. Each cosmetologist works as an independent contractor and has their own salon business within your larger facility. You don’t have to worry about payroll taxes or paying a salary, and you get consistent monthly rent regardless of how much business each cosmetologist does. The drawback is that each cosmetologist has control over policies and procedures, such as their hours of operation, pricing and services offered.

What are the types of cosmetologists?

Cosmetologists include a variety of beauty professionals who provide services for clients. Those treatments can be for hair, skin and nails. Many salons have a variety of cosmetologist specialties to give clients a one-stop shop for beauty treatments. Some types of cosmetologists include:

  • Hairstylists: This cosmetologist performs all types of hair services, including shampooing, styling, cutting, coloring, perming and installing extensions and weaves. Some hairstylists only perform certain services or specialize in a particular service.
  • Barbers: Focusing traditionally on men, barbers provide all types of hair services and might also provide facial shaving.
  • Esthetician: An esthetician focuses on skin care, performing procedures such as exfoliation, facials, anti-aging treatments and hair removal. They might also recommend skin care products that address a client’s specific needs.
  • Makeup artist: These cosmetologists apply makeup for special occasions, such as weddings, or create special effects with makeup for movies, TV shows and theatrical productions.
  • Nail technician: This person does manicures and pedicures, which might include nail art and massages to hands and feet. 

Where to find cosmetologists

To find the right cosmetologist for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Partner with cosmetology schools. If you have a cosmetology school in your area, bring some of your best cosmetologists to classes to demonstrate what they do. This can create interest in your salon.
  • Attend industry events. Make attending salon trade shows and conferences a regular part of your routine. Speak or do demonstrations at the event when possible to bring attention to your salon, or simply meet as many cosmetologists as possible while you’re there.
  • Provide services for events. Working at fashion shows and other events helps you network and meet cosmetologists you can recruit.
  • Network with industry professionals. Speak to suppliers, cosmetology school instructors and anyone else you know in the industry to let them know you have openings.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your cosmetologist job on Indeed to find and attract quality cosmetologist candidates.

What are the types of cosmetologists?

Cosmetologists include a variety of beauty professionals who provide services for clients. Those treatments can be for hair, skin and nails. Many salons have a variety of cosmetologist specialties to give clients a one-stop shop for beauty treatments. Some types of cosmetologists include:

  • Hairstylists: This cosmetologist performs all types of hair services, including shampooing, styling, cutting, coloring, perming and installing extensions and weaves. Some hairstylists only perform certain services or specialize in a particular service.
  • Barbers: Focusing traditionally on men, barbers provide all types of hair services and might also provide facial shaving.
  • Esthetician: An esthetician focuses on skin care, performing procedures such as exfoliation, facials, anti-aging treatments and hair removal. They might also recommend skin care products that address a client’s specific needs.
  • Makeup artist: These cosmetologists apply makeup for special occasions, such as weddings, or create special effects with makeup for movies, TV shows and theatrical productions.
  • Nail technician: This person does manicures and pedicures, which might include nail art and massages to hands and feet. 

Writing a cosmetologist job description

A thoughtful description is important for finding qualified cosmetologist candidates. A cosmetologist job description includes a description of the role and the related duties and responsibilities, including the required and preferred skills and certifications.

When writing your cosmetologist job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on cosmetologist jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Esthetician
  • Hair stylist
  • Cosmetologist
  • Cosmetology
  • Salon
  • Beauty
  • Spa
  • Barber
  • Aesthetician

Interviewing cosmetologist candidates

Strong candidates for cosmetologist positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Their current book of regular clients
• Scheduling and availability
• How they maintain knowledge of current trends and customer requests

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of cosmetologist interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a cosmetologist

How do I keep my cosmetologist happy?

Allow your cosmetologists to express their artistic talents in whatever type of services they offer. Providing mentoring and continuing education adds value to your employees and keeps them on the cutting edge of beauty trends. Creating a positive salon environment that values each individual’s contributions can help keep a cosmetologist happy. 

What does a cosmetologist wear?

Cosmetologists generally wear their own choice of clothes rather than a uniform, although you might create a dress code to ensure your cosmetologists fit the style and standards of your salon. Most cosmetologists wear fashion-forward clothes since they work in the beauty industry. Clothing choices should also be comfortable and allow the cosmetologist to move around freely while performing beauty treatments. Some cosmetologists wear aprons to protect their clothes or keep their tools close to them while they work.

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